Employer Branding 101 The best HR professionals are becoming marketers. Find out why,
what your employer brand means, how to inspire current and future
employees, and how it can help you achieve your core KPIs.
We’ll cover that and more in this ebook, along with actionable next steps, and
other resources to continue your research on this increasingly important topic.
Catalyzed by the rise of the millennial professional,
candidates are increasingly focused on researching
companies before applying for a job, doing extensive
diligence on potential career paths, and generally being
picky about what’s next in their professional lives.
Let’s use a thought experiment to understand this new
behavior. Let’s say you’re deciding which restaurant you
and your friends should choose for dinner tonight. Before
making a decision, you’ll probably look at menus online,
and peruse Yelp reviews. You spend 20 minutes before
committing to a restaurant, and that’s for taco night!
Similarly, the job seeker’s decision making process now
mirrors typical consumer behavior. Everyone looking at a
job will do their diligence on a given company before
applying for a role.
A new talent acquisition paradigm
It’s just like Taco Night
What is employer branding?
Why does it matter? What are the best companies doing to address
this key part of the talent acquisition equation? How do you document
your employee experience, so that company culture is clearly
communicated and existing employees can act as ambassadors?
According to CareerBuilder, 68% of candidates are
spending more than 2 hours BEFORE applying for a job!
This is an incredible amount of time and effort, but makes
sense if put in the context of the impact a new job will
have on your life (remember how much time you spent
researching for taco night??).
The scary part here is that job seekers are doing their
research for a reason. If they don’t find interesting
aspects of your company or role, or they find disparaging
reviews online, they will move on. Ask yourself, if
someone researches my company for 2 hours, what will
they find? If someone asks a friend or contact about you,
what will they hear? Does the employee experience align
with your stated values? Do you have company values?
The rise in popularity of Glassdoor
means that companies need to be more
vigilant than ever in protecting their
employer brands online. 1 in 3
employees who are laid off will leave a
Glassdoor review. Just like Yelp, the
desire to leave a review is usually
triggered by a negative experience.
That said, there are many companies
who’ve done a great job in proactively
building their brands by telling their own
story (as opposed to allowing their most
disgruntled employees tell it for them)
via authentic employee authored
content that lives all over the internet.
The best of this content shows off what
it’s like to work at their company. Many
top companies are doing just that
through software like NextWave which
allows for easy content creation and
Candidates are researching your company
What is employer branding and why does it matter?
Perhaps you’ve heard that HR and talent professionals
are now expected to think like marketers. Your
employer brand is defined by how the world perceives
what it’s like to work for your company. It's your job to
proactively influence this by providing candidates with
the information they need to form an opinion of you,
the same way your marketing teams provide your
potential customers with all of the information they
need to form an opinion of your product and company.
It’s also critical to give existing employees guidance on
the kind of company you’re building, so that they know
how to be effective ambassadors.
Employer branding efforts yield immediate results
when you put this rich information in all of the places
candidates are finding out about your job opportunities.
Given candidates’ propensity to research your
business before applying, you’ll positively shape their
gut reactions on what working at your company looks
like. If they're the right fit for the job, this increases the
likelihood of applying for your open position which
lowers your time to fill and cost per hire.
Imagine a candidate considering Google. What will she
find during the course of her preliminary research? On
their careers page, there are specific examples of what
the day-to-day culture is like from real employees.
Looking at social media, their message and
commitment to employees is consistent with the
information on the careers page. Employees currently
in these positions are speaking directly about why this
is a unique opportunity. Candidates appreciate seeing
a clear, consistent company identity.
For Google, their content and the corroborated stories
on other platforms paid off in the the short term by
getting a new candidate into the hiring funnel. It also
builds a brand over time. The gut reaction for
candidates is strong, positive and aligns with all of the
things Google prides themselves on. This sort of long
term brand building creates a pipeline of interested
professionals who are right for the job.
“Candidates think hard about the impact an employer’s name is going to have on their resume. So as an
employer, it’s important to invest in your brand, so people can easily answer that question. You want to a
candidate to say “Working for this company is going to make my resume really stand out in the future.”
-Molly Howard, VP of Operations at Ovia Health
“A uniquely collaborative culture”
If you are continuously hearing from
your colleagues about how they work
together, and have never been in a work
environment where people supported
one another like this, then you can very
credibly add this to your EVP.
Perhaps you’re recruiting engineers or
other ‘deep thinkers’ who value alone
time to work on problems. Or, maybe
you are targeting self starters in sales
roles. Whatever the case, this sort of
messaging can be quite powerful in
A few EVP Examples
Your employee value proposition is composed of the answers to the
following questions: “Why do I, and other employees, appreciate
working at my company?” AND “What makes working for my
company a unique experience compared to all of the other
places I could work or have worked in the past?”
Your answers can come in a variety of forms—from employees’
anecdotal stories, to phrases you hear around the water cooler, or
even from the excitement an employee gets when referring a friend.
If you ask your current employees what got their attention in the first
place and what keeps them here, what do they say? How do you
then communicate this to candidates? Don’t worry, we’ll get to that
later with some best practices.
Ideally, the employee value proposition aligns with your company’s
mission, values, and culture, as defined on the website and in an
internal knowledge hub like Tettra. This alignment will help foster
and maintain the best elements of your employee value proposition.
It also makes it easier for existing employees to tell others about
their experience working at your company.
What is an employee value proposition?
“This generation is looking for authentic, meaningful
places to work. You've got to convince them you’re the
best fit for their goals and lifestyle. They’re not convinced
by benefits and perks anymore. That's why tools like
Glassdoor incentivize employers to add photos of their
company events and showcase their commitment to
things like equal pay and diversity. Show them your story.
That's the only way to find the right candidates anymore.”
- Aaron Wheeler, Director of HR at Wistia
A Unique Opportunity
HR has been slow to adopt marketing principles to attract
talent. It’s not surprising. Imagine if we asked marketers to
learn how to do payroll, or background checks, or deal
with compliance issues. It would take them a while to put
down what they were doing already, which was working
‘well enough,’ and get them to learn a new skill set.
This means there is a unique opportunity for the
companies who approach branding correctly to reap
massive rewards over the coming years as their
competition struggles to adapt.
On average, candidates are
researching your company for 2
hours before deciding whether or
not to apply. If
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